It’s taken less than two games for Jarryd Hayne to make Laurie Daley a believer again.
The NSW State of Origin coach is still picking up the pieces from last month’s 10th series defeat to Queensland in 11 years, but that hasn’t stopped him crowning Hayne the Blues’ hero again.
On the back of his recent fairytale, golden-point field goal for Gold Coast against the Wests Tigers, Daley said: “And he’s still going to get a lot better than what he’s doing at the moment.
“But to have two years out of the game, not have much training, play 80 minutes like he did last week in (his second game) and nail it right at the end, that’s what great players do.
“In Origin, they just nail them. If Jarryd can get back to anywhere near his best, he’ll be that player for us. When the moment rolls around, I’m sure he’ll be able to deliver.
“And that’s exciting for everyone.”
The fact that the former San Francisco 49er completed his return at five-eighth with distinction is yet another plus for Hayne.
Daley said he was open to playing the Titans’ recruit anywhere against the Maroons.
“That’s the advantage of him. It wouldn’t worry you where you picked him,” he said.
“If he’s playing well, you’ll find a position for him. Whether that’s fullback, centre, wing, five-eighth, you just gotta have him in there somewhere.”
Incumbent prop and captaincy candidate Aaron Woods believes the Blues’ team needs to have Hayne and breakout star James Tedesco in the 17-man line-up.
Tedesco was one of the Blues’ best on debut in their dead-rubber win in Sydney.
“You’ve got to have Hayne and Tedesco in there, they’re both game breakers and they’re blokes that can do anything with the ball,” Woods said.
“If you’re down by two points or one point, you’re looking for the likes of Hayne and Tedesco so, to have two of them on the field, would be massive.
“But, at the end of the day, I’m not the coach and thank God I’m not. Laurie, that’s his tough decision – he’s got to pick.”